This tide pool is teeming. Hermit crabs tumble and scamper like little sentient stones, ill-fitting shells in various hues bumping through the still water. A forest of kelp below. Jagged barnacles, cubiform dark rocks.
I want to swim, to plunge into the placid lapping sea. I’m not completely heedless of my comfort, though, and I know it to be cold. Raindrops pattern its surface with concentric circles. People pass by on the little lip of land above me. The brightness of a man’s shirt seems garish, an offense against the day’s quiet coolness.
I just had to nap. The grey of the day coupled with accumulated sleep-debt demanded lassitude, indulgence, permissiveness.
I snuffle at my thumb to feel the pleasant roughness of ragged cuticle on my lips, and smell nutritional yeast from where I touched a little bag of it moments ago.
You know you’re absolutely crazed with lust when the scent of someone’s sweaty unwashed feet sends you into a libidinous tizzy.
We don’t speak, and don’t look at one another. A heavy mist of repressed longing hangs over us, obviating other topics of conversation. I finally break the ice by asking about tea.
I stand at the sink and feel an oppressive sadness. Wanting to say something genuine, to breach the silence with words that are real and pure. But sometimes… diplomacy must rule the day. Or, maybe, propriety. Self-sacrifice, in the name of peace, or…?
This looks like a lot of nonsense.
The main feature of my sorrow is the knowledge that my desire outstripped my capacity to see another in their fulness of their humanity, clouded my perception and made me insensible to someone’s subjectivity.
I want to tell him that I admire him. I’m not sure if the sentiment is reciprocated. To think of speaking it causes painful pangs of anxiety in my chest. Sometimes I think myself desirable. But then I’m not so sure. What I bring certainly isn’t for everyone, and I can’t simply assume that everyone who prefers my gender and basic phenotype will want me. And yet – is it so far-fetched to think that my feelings are not in vain?
I was trying to find a different way to say “reciprocated” – funny that I went with “not in vain.” Because is anything ever really in vain? Isn’t feeling a feel worthwhile for its own sake, even if the outcome isn’t what you’re wishing for?